Chapter

Free Will and Original Sin

Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

in The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199791606
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.003.0022
Free Will and Original Sin

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Jonathan Edwards thought a misunderstanding of the human will was at the root of nearly all that had gone wrong in theology. Often dissatisfied with existing boundaries, he paid tribute in Freedom of the Will to intellectualists on the will by stipulating that the will always follows the last dictate of the understanding, which “is as the greatest apparent good is.” He concluded that there is no true freedom of the will when the will is indifferent or self-determined without influence or motive. In Original Sin he attempted two things: to establish universal depravity and to demonstrate the fact and justice of the imputation of Adam's sin. The end of the chapter considers philosophical objections to Edwards's occasionalism, and the charge that he strayed far from Calvin on the authorship of Adam's sin.

Keywords: free will; indifference; determinism; imputation; Adam's sin; occasionalism

Chapter.  8221 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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